Sipping on low-point (3.2 percent) beers while strolling around the city is legit. But festivals have special permits, and you can’t bring your own beer within the zone in which these events are held, although some will offer drinks to buy.
As usual, any place (including restaurants and indoor performance venues) selling beverages won’t let you inside with beer from another source.
“It would cause more of a hassle than it’s worth carrying around a cooler full of beer because you can’t go anywhere since they won’t let you in,” said Oklahoma City Police Lt. D. Kimberlin.
Coolers are feasible during the city’s Fourth of July fireworks because the area you sit isn’t a permitted zone and you’re simply watching rather than participating in the more interactive arts festivals.
Officers may stop to check whether you do indeed have a 3.2 beer, as anything above this mark is considered liquor and can’t be carried around town. A good rule of thumb is whatever alcohol you may buy at a convenience store is acceptable while liquor store varieties are a no-go.
And if you think you can get away with not following these rules, you may want to reconsider.
“Bricktown isn’t very tolerant because there are so many people in that area and things can get out of control pretty quickly, so they (officers) watch closely for anyone drinking liquor,” Kimberlin said.
The lieutenant notes it’s up to the officer whether you receive a warning or something worse.
Fines or sentences are assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you’re arrested in the city, you’ll likely be charged with a misdemeanor, a fine (maximum $1,200) and up to a year in jail. But you also could receive the state fine (maximum $500) and up to a year in jail, depending on the circumstance.
“I would enjoy the festival instead of trying to interject your own entertainment,” Kimberlin said. “That creates trouble for everybody.”
So, where can you drink responsibly within festival grounds?
The ACM@UCO Rocks Bricktown festival on April 11, hosted by the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, will be in both indoor and outdoor venues. Since many of the indoor facilities, like Chevy Bricktown Events Center, offer drinks for sale, the festival won’t have alcoholic beverages sold at outdoor spaces, said Liz Johnson, ACM@UCO spokesperson.
For the upcoming Arts Council of Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts April 22-27 at Festival Plaza and Myriad Botanical Gardens, 3.2 beer is sold in multiple tent locations. Two areas will provide wine for patrons 21 and older, but the wine can’t leave the premises. Festival organizers want the event to be enjoyable for adults but also family-friendly.